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The Shepherd Kings

   The most celebrated period in Egyptian history occurred in the time of the Twelfth Dynasty during the reign of Userteseus and Amenemhats. Immediately following this period came several dynasties during which the land was governed by the Hyksos, or Shepherd Kings. According to Josephus, these rulers were descendants of Abraham. In view of the appellation they earned as the mystery kings of Egypt, it may be safely inferred that they were not wanting in the divine wisdom possessed by their ascribed ancestor. These rulers called themselves Pharaohs, and occupied the throne at San (the Zoan of the Bible), which is situated near the mouth of the Nile. The earlier dynasties had their seat at Thebes in upper Egypt.

   The distinguishing insignia of the Hyksos was the shepherd's crook or the cross, because of which history popularly refers to them as the Shepherd Kings. Already in this early day wise men in places of high authority were making preparation for the coming of the Great Shepherd and the inauguration of the Religion of the Lamb. Astrologically, this preparation by the Hyksos was taking place when the Sun last passed by precession through Libra. The significance of this lies in the fact that Libra is the sign opposite Aries. What was taking place esoterically under Libra became manifest later under its opposite, or complimentary sign (Aries), under whose zodiacal rulership the Christian regime was established. In any pair of signs, one rules popular or exoteric religion; the other, the deeper Mysteries plumbed only by a pioneering few. Incidentally, the name Pharaoh means wisdom of the Sun.

   In The History of Antiquity, the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho states that Egypt was indebted to the Hyksos for much of the wisdom and artistry she bequeathed to later civilizations. For five centuries they remained in the land. It was during the dynasties covered by this period that Abraham, Jacob and Joseph entered Egypt.

Early Preparation for Christ's Coming

   When the Hyksos were expelled from Egypt about 1600 B.C. they journeyed to Judea and centered their work in Salem, which later became Jerusalem. It was a holy city at that time as it still is today, despite outer contradictions, and as it will be in the future in all its aspects, physical and spiritual. In Salem Abraham was initiated into the Christ Mysteries by the high priest Melchizedek; in Jerusalem Christ Jesus, high priest after the Order of Melchizedek, gave His Disciples His last and most profound instructions into the Greater Mysteries of the Dispensation that opened with His coming. Both occasions were celebrated by partaking of bread and wine, symbols of mystical processes involved in Rites of Initiation.

   These festivals of soul dedication were not observed in Jerusalem by chance. Preparation for the sublime events had been in the making for thousands of years. Among those specially dedicated to this task were the Shepherd Kings of Egypt. The links in the chain of divine revelation are unbroken. The Lesser Mysteries of the ancients were steps leading up to the Greater Mysteries revealed by the Christ. This was understood by members of pre-Christian brotherhoods: knowingly, they worked toward the coming of the Light of the World who was to take flesh and dwell among men.

   The ruler of the dynasty succeeding the Hyksos bore the name Amosis, "in whose time," writes Manetho, "Moses went out of Egypt." This marked the era of later Pharaohs who "knew not Joseph"; inner light possessed by earlier rulers had departed and the days of the oppressors had come. To them Israel, the Chosen People, were tolerable only as servants. Being materially minded and in spiritual darkness, evil days fell upon them. This so chastened their nature and subdued their haughty spirit, that they finally yielded to the Israelites: protracted pleading for release from captivity. What then follows, as Jehovah's Chosen make the forty-year pilgrimage through the wilderness before entering into the Promised Land, is the story of Exodus.

The Coming of a Deliverer
Moses' Birth and Infancy

   A Talmudic legend states that "the father of Moses was espoused to the Shekinah, that it was with Moses the day he was born, and that it never quitted him." Thus, in beautiful oriental imagery, we are told about the glory light from on high that accompanied this messenger of God through the entirety of his earthly mission to a people in need of divine guidance.

   The Zohar affirms of Moses that his life began in a mystery; that he was not born after the manner of men who preceded him, nor of those who came after. Of him it is said, "And there arose not a prophet since in Israel like unto Moses."

   When a great spiritual teacher is born to earth life, the event is invariably accompanied by the joyful chorusing of Angel hosts on inner planes. This lies back of the supernatural phenomena which legend universally attaches to the birth of holy men and saviours of the race. In the case of Moses, the Talmud informs us that Jochebed, his mother, bore him without pain; and that at the moment of his birth the entire house was aglow as if lighted by the combined rays of both the Sun and the Moon.

   Recognizing the child to be favored with more than ordinary beauty and goodness, the parents concealed the infant in an inner room for a space of three months. Then, according to the Talmud, Amram, father of the child, fearing that its discovery would arouse Pharaoh's displeasure and bring death to both him and his young son, made an ark of rushes in which he placed the infant of promise. He set it afloat upon the river, leaving its safety and preservation to God alone. It will be seen that the Talmud account differs only in details from the record of Exodus; in their essentials they are identical.

   The ark has the same significance in the life of Moses as in the life of Noah. It represents the soul body, that spiritual aura which protects its possessor from danger and destruction. To one so armored David addressed himself when he declared that "A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand, but it shall not come nigh thee."

   Concealment of the ark among the bulrushes has reference to the quiet and seclusion necessary for a season if the unworldly qualities of soul are to be given the most advantageous conditions for their initial development in a new vehicle. Only under more or less concealed conditions can the wisdom of the Mysteries — which is but foolishness to the multitude — be safely and favorably imparted.

   Moses, being of high birth spiritually, was appropriately discovered by a royal princess who took compassion on the child and saw to it that he was given every advantage that wealth and rank could bestow upon hirn. Moreover, she who found him was associated with the Temple Mysteries of her time and country.

   Nor was the child deprived of the loving care which only a mother can give, for the nurse engaged by the daughter of Pharaoh to care for the infant was, unbeknown to her, the child's own mother. "And the child grew, and she brought him unto Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. And she called his name Moses: and she said, Because I drew him out of the water."

   In Egyptian, "mo" signifies water, and "uses," those who are saved from it.

   As is so often the case in the biblical record, this apparently insignificant detail conceals a key to the life and mission of Moses, and also the evolutionary progress of the race. The rescue of Moses from the waters is portrayed astrologically in the skies by the Sun's passage from watery Pisces into fiery Aries. The Book of Exodus may, in fact, be called the Book of Aries. It deals with a departure, a passage from one place and state into another. Moses, the principal character in the Book, correlates to the Spring Equinox, that season of mystic power when the Sun passes from Pisces, the last sign of the Zodiac, into Aries, the first. It is the season when effort is made to remove the things that hinder spiritual progress in preparation for a resurrection into a new life with the dawn of Easter. Thus it is observed by the Church and, in a corresponding manner, the season is devoted to appropriate spiritual exercises by adherents of all Mystery Schools who know so well the cosmic powers then made available to man and Earth for their upliftment.

   The Sun's passage from the water of Pisces into the fire of Aries tends to blend the powers of the two elements in nature and in man. In this blending is to be found the mystery of growing things, be it fruits of the fields or the "roses of the cross." It pertains to the unfoldment of things physical and spiritual. In the union of the Fire and Water principles is to be found the secret of life itself, its maintenance and its perpetuation. The miracle by which the two unite is performed by celestial Hierarchies. When man acquires the ability to do this for himself he will possess power to extend life in his physical body for an indefinite time-as do, for instance, the Elder Brothers of the race. Moses had attained to this status and made demonstration of it in his own life.

   The pattern for man's evolution is to be found in nature, and the stars proclaim the stages of progression. The heavens truly contain a prophetic biography of humanity. To be able to decipher its scroll aright is to possess one of the most important keys to Initiation.

   A story almost identically paralleling the life of Moses has been discovered among the teachings of Chaldeans and Babylonians. Record of this is to be found in a work by George Smith entitled Assyrian Discoveries and Chaldean Accounts. The following inscriptions are on tablets that were found in the palace of Sermacherib and date back to about 1600 B.C.

   From here on the story continues virtually as it is given in the Bible.

   In the above account, the King Sargon is identified as Sargon. Akkad was a Babylonian city that flourished about 1600 B.C. The capital city of King Sargon was Ayadis, the city referred to in Genesis as the capital of the land of Nimrod. Akkad was near the city of Sippora which was situated on the Euphrates. Sippora is evidently a variation of Zipporah, name of the wife of Moses. The name Sargon means true or legitimate king.

   The above items are detailed, not for the purpose of conveying historical data but to point out the important fact that principles rather than personalities are dealt with in the Bible. This being true, principles set forth in the life of Moses have been present in many instances in terms of another personage. The human characters that come and go are comparatively unimportant in relation to the evolution of the race, but principles by which humanity progresses are all-important. They belong to the eternal order of things. Persons pass; religions assume many forms; the mind of man develops; his spiritual grasp grows stronger and clearer; but throughout all change and growth the eternal verities are always the same. The same law operates; the same spirit strives for expression.

 — Corinne Heline


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